I have to remind myself of this when teaching workshops because for me spirit guides are real. In my life, I have been assisted by them in so many ways, that it’s hard for me to remember a time when I didn’t feel supported by their presence. But most people are unsure of their existence, they need proof, they need evidence. If this applies to you, I encourage you to read this article with an open mind. You do not have to see or hear your guides to benefit from their presence, there are other ways that they can let you know that they are there.

For quite a long time I did not know the appearance or the names of my guides. I just called them ‘Guides’ when I wanted to contact them. Names are not that important to them, and they can change their appearance in spirit to suit what they think will register with us.

Now, however, I know what my primary guide looks like, and how he appears to me. His face is male, wise and very serene with grey/white hair. I realised I knew this face, that I had seen it when waking up, when falling asleep and when going into meditation. It was like remembering an old friend. When I asked him his name, he asked me what I wanted to call him. I could not really find a name that summed up his image, so I asked if I could call him ‘Older Brother.’ Somehow this seemed to fit. He was happy with this, so that is what I call him. I usually tune in to him by remembering his face. I remember it, and I see his face above me on my right-hand side.

You may wonder, why do we have spirit guides? Their purpose is to assist us through their benign influence and positive vibration to follow the path of our soul in this lifetime. Their influence is subtle yet profound. They know us very well and can inspire us to choose the path of our highest good - even though we may not realise this. They are always there, working behind the scenes to light our way. Becoming more conscious of their presence and learning to communicate with them can help us follow our true path.

Even though our spirit guides are always with us, they do not intrude on our lives. They respect our privacy. They are there to help us through inspiration and intuition, and the stirrings of our conscience. They are not there to plan our lives. We already did this in spirit before we were born. Our life plan will have been designed for maximum opportunities for growth and experience - and we often grow through difficulties, so the plan will also include them.

The guides are aware of our plan. If we are in danger of going wildly off plan, the way they usually intervene is through helping us to feel that something is not quite right. We will just ‘know’ that a certain person is not a long-time partner, that a certain job is not really what we want, or that a new acquaintance is not to be trusted. This inner sense of knowing, this intuitive feeling, is the way the guides influence us to follow our plan. However, if we choose to ignore this inner knowing, the guides do not interfere or try and stop us. They respect our free will.

There are many things in our lifetime that are not pre-planned, and in these instances, we have to decide what we want. The guides will not make these decisions for us, because it’s important that we take responsibility for our life, and also take responsibility for the decisions we make within it. Taking responsibility, making decisions, and making mistakes are all essential parts of the learning process at the earth school.

Becoming Aware of Your Spirit Guide

There are many ways that you can become aware of your spirit guide. You may have a feeling that someone is watching over you, helping you get through when times are hard. You may feel the presence of a guide in a particular place, a place in nature or at home, where you feel relaxed and at ease. You may see your guide in a dream, or during a meditation. You may just feel a loving presence.

It may be that you will feel their presence when you really need it, in a difficult situation at work, or during a difficult phase of a relationship. Maybe you need some help looking after a small child, a disabled relative, or some healing for your own state of mind. I suggest that you call on them, and ask for their help. Call on them when you need them, and trust that they will hear you. Help will be forthcoming, in one way or another.

Contacting guides is not the privilege of an elite few born with special gifts. All of us can learn to feel their subtle presence when we are ready to do so. Your guides are already influencing you in many subtle ways, but your decision to contact them will make this influence more conscious. A relationship with them will not alter the learning opportunities that this lifetime is meant to provide, some of which may involve suffering. However, if you follow their guidance you will start to live in a way that honours your soul, and its plan for this life. You will have found true spiritual friends in your guides, and you will no longer ever feel alone.


Caroline McCutcheon is a writer, healer and medium who lived for fifteen years in a small village in the Algarve.  Four years ago she moved with her husband to the Alto-Alentejo. To read more about her, and her work go to: www.carolinemcc.com

Caroline McCutcheon